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Webinars

From Compliance to Programmatic Accessibility: Best Practices for American Job Centers

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In the 8 years since the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was passed into law, the American economy has profoundly changed. Major structural changes among industries, companies, and contractors have accelerated thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and new economic policies from the Biden Administration. Throughout these tumultuous years, American Job Centers (AJCs) / America’s Job Centers of California (AJCCs) have been crucial for the delivery of workforce services to thousands of workers. As the labor force participation rate for workers with disabilities rapidly increases to historical highs, jobseekers with disabilities need supports and services that will meet their needs and help them earn an income. However, the working professionals at AJCs/AJCCs may not have received any formal training on disability etiquette, accessibility, assistive technology, or best practices.

This webinar offered a high-level overview of proven practices and lessons learned for serving jobseekers with disabilities through the workforce development system. Attendees learned from a subject matter expert who has collected simple, practical, and cost-effective solutions to help advance opportunities for jobseekers with disabilities. [continue reading…]

Overcoming Barriers and Work Disincentives Listening Session

Presented by United Spinal and RespectAbility


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More than 80 million people living in America depend on Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for essential services. Looking at the challenge facing these Americans, leaders at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have recently released a Request for Information (RFI) to the public. This RFI is a tremendous opportunity for people with disabilities to directly weigh in and share their lived experiences accessing care or overcoming barriers to work.

United Spinal Association logoRespectAbility and United Spinal, two national disability organizations, joined forces to host a special listening session to solicit feedback, input, and ideas from the people most directly impacted by the work disincentives in Medicaid. Led by a panel of subject matter experts and self-advocates, this session guided the development and submission of public comments to CMS to help Medicaid better serve the disability community and improve opportunities for employment and success. [continue reading…]

Being Michelle: Exploring Criminal Justice and Trauma through a Deaf Lens

Presented in partnership with Thriving Roots Initiative and Cleveland International Film Festival

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This panel aimed to discuss in more depth some of the issues facing Deaf/disabled people in the criminal justice system as experienced by the protagonist in the feature length documentary film, Being Michelle. The panel brought together Deaf leaders and advocates as well as individuals who have experienced human rights abuses in the criminal justice system. [continue reading…]

Matan Koch and Rabbi Charles Sherman

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Matan Koch met with Rabbi Charles Sherman of Melrose B’nai Israel Emanu-El, a small congregation in Pennsylvania with a dedicated Disability Inclusion Committee. Rabbi Sherman asked intriguing questions that prompted Matan to share about his disability, his experience as a Rabbi’s son, and his journey through the world of Jewish inclusion.

Sinai Temple + RespectAbility: A Conversation About Jewish Disability Inclusion

Join Sinai Temple and RespectAbility for a conversation about Jewish disability inclusion! Hear from filmmaker and actor Aaron Wolf and poet Erika Abbott about their experiences as Jews with disabilities. Following their reflections, there was a Q&A session led by Rabbi Erez Sherman from Sinai Temple.

Headshots of Erika Abbott, Rabbi Erez Sherman, and Aaron Wolf.

Madagascar: A Little Wild Leading the Way on Deaf and ASL Inclusion in Animation

Presented in Partnership with DreamWorks Animation


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Have you seen DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar: A Little Wild on Hulu or Peacock TV yet? For six seasons, RespectAbility Vice Chair Delbert Whetter, along with Jevon Whetter and Justin Maurer, consulted on this series, which includes a deaf character who uses sign language; the character’s sister also signs. Chimpanzee siblings Dave and Pickles are breaking barriers and are part of a movement changing the landscape of disability representation in children’s television and streaming content. Dave and Pickles have a meaningful story arc throughout the entire series and Dave is not defined by his deafness.

New this season, a little girl named and modeled after deaf actress Shaylee Mansfield trades cards with Dave at the zoo. She was animated by using a video reference of her performing the role. In what is possibly a first for deaf performers, she is credited alongside the “audible” voice actors for her “sign over” performance in the episode “‘Gloria’s Got ‘Em All.”

Learn from the team’s ASL consultants as well as Executive Producer Johanna Stein and Actress Shaylee Mansfield on how they worked together to bring about dynamic deaf characters. [continue reading…]

Advocacy Burnout: What Is It & How Do We Avoid It?

A Conversation with Disabled Creatives and Advocates, Tatiana Lee and Lesley Hennen

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Navigating the Entertainment industry can be a daunting and overwhelming experience for anyone. And when you’re a person with multiple underrepresented identities, disability included, the feeling of burnout can become real very quickly. This event was a conversation between RespectAbility Entertainment & News Media team members, Tatiana Lee & Lesley Hennen. They shared their experiences and tips for navigating advocacy as disabled creatives, and how to handle the inevitable burnout that comes with it. [continue reading…]

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